My sister from Jakarta is visiting me for a long week-end now. She is on business trip in Berlin. This morning I picked her up at Eindhoven Airport. Today was a cold (-2 degree Celsius) but beautiful sunny day. So I got an idea to show her Doornenburg castle, one of the biggest well-preserved castles in the country. It is only 15 minutes ride from my house, 20 minutes by bike on the dykes.
Situated very near the Rhine river, castle Doornenburg consists of the upper and lower ward. It contains sleeping quarters, a chapel and a farm, the last being a unique feature for a Dutch castle.
image taken from kastelenbeeldbank
This first document found about this castle is dated from the 9th century. It was called Doronburuc then, a fortified manor as a defense fort against the Vikings. A duke of Gelderland became the castle’s owner in 1255. He turned the fort into a modest castle. First mention of the lord of Doornenburg, Willem van Doornick, was in 1295. During the 80 year war (1668 – 1748) the lord of Doornenburg chose party of Gelderland region. The last inhabitant was Baroness of Bemmel, Maria Clara von Delwig. After her death in 1847 the castle stayed unoccupied and eventually had fallen into decay eversince. Until in 1936 when the textile tycoon J.H. van Heek, bought the castle and established a foundation to keep maintaining it. A year later Van Heek started an extensive restoration which was completed in 1941.
At the end of World War II the castle had been hit by British bombardment. It was totally destroyed. The foundation began restauration until the castle was fully rebuilt in 1968.
Nowadays the castle is open for public daily. In the summer there is a Knights tournament (imagine Ivanhoe). A beautiful event to see. Several Dutch films with historical background were shot here too. It is open for high tea in week-ends and private parties. One can sleep here as well. So everyone can experience how it feels like to be the lady of the castle.
My sister and I in front of the entrance.
All pics were shot with iPad as this was unplanned and I didn’t bring my camera with me. So you see the hard light and flares on the pics.